Christian Pastor Maintains Support for Grandmother’s Decision to Attend LGBTQ Wedding Despite Being Dropped by Radio Network

Pastor Alistair Begg, senior leader at Parkside Church in Ohio, stated that he is “unprepared to repent” in the aftermath of the controversy stirred by his counsel to a grandmother attending her grandchild’s LGBTQ wedding last year.

Addressing the repercussions, which resulted in a Christian network discontinuing his daily broadcast, Begg, during a recent sermon on the prodigal son, drew parallels between the proud demeanor of the older brother in the parable and the attitudes some Christians exhibit towards nonbelievers. He argued that such attitudes contradict Jesus’s directive to “love your enemies.”

He clarified that the context for his discussion with the grandmother was crucial. Begg emphasized that his primary concern was preserving the woman’s relationship with her grandchild, noting that he might not offer the same advice in a different situation.

“If I was on the receiving end of another question about another situation from another person at another time, I may answer absolutely differently. But in that case, I answered in that way, and I would not answer in any other way no matter what anybody says on the internet as of the last ten days,” he explained.

The pastor stood by his comments, saying that while “I repent daily” for things he shouldn’t say, this wasn’t one of them.

“But the fact of the matter is, I’m not ready to repent over this. I don’t have to,” he continued.

Begg continued by expressing that Christians should neither remain silent nor reject individuals who identify as LGBTQ.

“We can disagree about whether I gave that grandmother good advice or not… but at least let’s acknowledge the fact that what we’re doing is wrestling with Biblical principles. And when the principle, for, let’s say, holiness of life, comes up against the principle of love for your enemy, how are you going to put that together?” he asked.

“What happens to homosexual people, in my ‘experience,’ is that they are either reviled or they are affirmed,” he continued. “The Christian has to say, ‘We will not treat you in either of those ways. We cannot revile you, but we cannot affirm you. And the reason that we can’t revile you is the same reason why we can’t affirm you, because of the Bible, because of God’s love, because of His grace, because of His goodness.’”

The controversy arose from statements made by Begg on his Bible teaching program, “Truth for Life,” in September of last year. He recommended that a grandmother attend her grandson’s wedding to his transgender fiancé, with the condition that the grandson was aware she did not “affirm” his life choices.

“As long as he knows that, then I suggest that you do go to the ceremony. And I suggest that you buy them a gift,” he relayed.

The pastor articulated his view that attending a same-sex wedding was a subject of individual conviction. He argued that by being present at the wedding, the grandmother would be establishing a connection to persist in sharing the Gospel with her grandson.

Begg’s guidance faced criticism when these comments resurfaced on social media in recent weeks. The American Family Association declared last week that its radio ministry, American Family Radio, would cease airing his daily program.